So another day, several small surprises in an otherwise pleasant and extraordinary day. Somewhere on the road I stop. I sit down inside a small stand alone cafe and without a coffee machine, the place was dusty and tired but nice, a home for locals and restless people like me. I don’t feel happy today. I don’t feel sad. Sometimes I don’t think I feel. Cycling makes it feel better.
Meeting people is a perfect goal but it is also about them being there. Most people ‘on the road’ - which is where I am for 90% of my day - are in their cars. As an aside, in India where it’s all about one billion people, moving around, I am looking forward to meeting a lot of them. They won’t all be in cars, thank all the gods.
There are no cycles paths in Greece but wherever the autoroute is, a smaller old national route is close by. Traffic is relatively light, courteous and with a warm sun and enlivening crosswind I pedalled my little expedition bike across another day. Around a long sweeping uphill bend a line of mountains to my left suddenly soared. I glanced a sign for Ancient Plevrona and looked up to my left and half way up the walls of this remarkable edifice presented itself magnificently.
A Bit of Info
On a hill on the northwest side of Messolonghi a big part of the 3-kilometer long walls of Ancient Plevrona are still kept in a very good condition. And specifically, of the New Ancient Plevrona also known as Castle of Kira Rini (Lady Rini). For the coastal old Plevrona that was located a bit further down on the hill and was the “house” of Thestiis you can also read in Homer's Iliad. The residents of Plevrona and Kalydona under the leadership of Thoas took part in the war of Troy with 40 ships. Plevrona probably was named after the son of Etolos, Plevrona whos name can be seen on clay signs, proving its existence and development during the Mycenaean period. The old town was destroyed in 233 B.C by Demetrius II and was rebuild in the new area that is open to public.
And below the Swiss cyclists riding from their home land to Athens. Good effort. I'm overwhelmed, so many conversations today has completely upended the shallow confines of my solitary expedition. OMG, whatever will it be like when I find more people in a sensational way!
So I saw the Rion Antirion Bridge that crosses the Gulf of Patras which I knew was restricted to cyclists, horse and carts and people that don't own either when a sign indicated a ferry. Quick calculation meant that would save me 60kms on my final ride into Athens, so ferried across I set off for Aigio.
With 12kms to my planned overnight, I spied a cafe underneath the motorway flyover, as a corner of calm. Mostly men. One looks at me if I’d stepped off a gas planet several light years away. I dismounted. No conversation material here just gawps …. except on the way out I was quite wrong - the old chap who thought I was an alien had now become my best friend.
Map of the Day